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Electrical questions


72 Bluz

Went to clean the engine compartment Sunday - battery was low and I jumped her off, let her run for a while, and proceeded. After finishing, Xena started right up - let her idle for 10-15 minutes and then Judy took her for a spin. When she returned, I noticed the headlights were dim. Looked in and the amp gauge read discharge. Goosed her :)D ) a little and the headlights brightened back to normal and the amp guage began registering a charge again. Let her run a little longer and put her to bed before starting her up 2 more times. Got home last night and there's no charge, the engine would turn over 2 or 3 times and stop. Covered carb, distributer and alternator while cleaning. My first thought was maybe the alt belt was slipping because it was wet, but then there was little charge before I started and had to jump her. Will get the battery checked tonight, but wonder if it could be something else. The battery is pretty new and as checked out strong recently. Thanks for any input.
Sounds like a bad ground.

Check the connections at the battery one more time, check the ground to frame. Check the ground strap from the frame to the engine. Don't just look at them, go ahead and lossen up the connection, wire brush or sand paper the contact point and tighten it back down. Also, make sure the postive calbe is good and tight on the starter. That will sum up the possible problems with this kind of symptom.
I agree with 69MyWay; it sure sounds like the battery cables. I had similar symptoms and I THOUGHT I checked my cables. I couldn’t figure it out so I used my wife’s car to go to work and she called AAA. Well, it was a loose cable and I’m STILL hearing about it!!! CHECK THE CABLES!!!
Stick with 69myway.
remove the cables and any ground connections that may show an
unusual color(gray,blue,etc) as normal use combined with the humidity changes can cause electrolosis to build up under the connections and cancel the ability to recieve a charge

All the previous advice is good stuff, I only have a few things to add: here in Phoenix the summer takes its toll and an uncovered car will go thru a battery every couple of years.
Try measuring the output of the alternator and exclude that variable, then measure the specific gravity of each cell of the battery - I've seen cars that start okay, but run a little dim for so long that you get used to it and don't realize the battery is going bad.
I own a '72 that was originally Targa Blue, would it be possible for you to e-m a pic of your car? I've never seen that color before.
Thanks and good luck....Mark :cool
Thanks for the advice

Turns out the battery was shot - guy said I was lucky for that battery to last 6 years. Everything works fine now, but I will go ahead and make the checks recommended, especially cables and grounds. Don't know how old the cables are - Chris, where do I look for the frame ground and the frame to engine ground?

Mark, I'll do my best to get you a picture. Been meaning to get one in for my sig - Ken & Jay have graciously offered to help on several occaisions - it's one of those things where I need a "round tuit" to accomplish. Maybe I can try tonight if I don't get home too late.

SIX YEARS; WOW?!?!? :eek :eek :eek

That's one thihg i forgot to ask you (age of the battery). I can't believe that any battery would last that long, much less in the Texas heat!!! You better go get a lottery ticket tonight because you're on a lucky roll!!! :beer
'72 Ground Strap

:D Bill, congratulations...doesn't it feel good when you troubleshoot a problem?
The + side of the battery travels under the car along the right side of the driveshaft and attaches directly to the large terminal of the starter.
The - side of the battery attaches to the frame below the general area of the battery itself.
There is a ground strap (#2 gage cable about 20 " long) that attaches to
the right motor-mount (on the frame side) and is not easy to see; the engine side of the strap is bolted to a bracket about 4 " long with a slight bend (15 degrees?) in it that helps secure the starter to the engine block.
:beer There's alot of great guys (and girls) that belong to this BB - they've helped me time and time again. Good luck and let know if me and my manuals can help you out.
Mark :upthumbs
I'd like to make a suggestion on the ground cable, from the battery to the frame. It has been known to some that the disconnection of this cable will disable some car alarms. This would make it easier for a thief to take off with your car if he has the know-how. You guys might want to think of rerouting or adding an additional cable to another part of the frame that is not so accessible or easily disconnected. For your sake, don't mention on any follow up posts where you decide to mount it. I trust the members, but you never know who is visiting. --Bullitt

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